By Katie Monigan
For typical students, the spring concert is a Friday night activity requiring no more planning than making sure their tickets are purchased before they sell out and picking out what to wear.
For the Concert Committee, it’s all about details. The concert is an exercise in coordinated planning, advertisement and physical labor the day of the event, and it all starts when the performers are selected.
The artist selection is actually quite simple. According to Concert Committee co-chair Brenna Deck ’11, the process starts with online surveys distributed through the Message Center. The committee then works with a “middle agent” to see if the top choices are on tour and assesses whether they fit within the budget.
According to Deck, the Goo Goo Dolls have been thrown around as a possible choice for her entire four-year tenure on the committee because of a successful show they played in Sojka Pavilion the spring of 2007. The committee was waiting for the final class to see that performance, the class of 2010, to graduate before having the Goo Goo Dolls return to campus.
As for Mike Posner, “He’s just all over the place right now—just a strong player in the fun, contemporary, dance-party music scene that Bucknell tends to respond to the most,” Deck said.
Once the performers were selected, the committee was tasked with advertising. For University students, advertising came in the form of a Facebook group, posters and music in the Elaine Langone Center mall to direct students to the box office. To reach the community, advertisement also took place downtown and as far as Penn State with flyers, posters and local radio stations.
The day before the concert, the physical labor started. “We started at two on Thursday afternoon, unloading the truck from the production company, and we finished up at nine,” Mike Christiansen ’13 said. They built the entire stage, which comes on the truck in pieces, and assembled the lighting rigging.
They were back to work at 8 a.m. Friday morning once the Goo Goo Dolls’ equipment arrived and were finished by early afternoon. Then, according to Christiansen, “we took nap breaks in turns.”
“Sometimes we get to watch sound check, which is my personal favorite part. The stage is up, the backdrop is up, the lighting is up and running, the fog machines start and the band or musician comes on and runs through a bunch of material. It’s like a private concert just for us. We get to just sit back and take it in and feel proud of ourselves looking at the massive, very tangible result of all the work we just did,” Deck said.
During the concert, the committee members are responsible for taking tickets, crowd control, line management and just generally helping people safely enjoy the show. They get to watch most of it too.
Once the concert ends, the purpose of their afternoon nap breaks becomes apparent, as they have to break down everything they set up before leaving. This year’s work ended at about 3:30 a.m., which, according to Christiansen, was “early” as they were projected to finish at 5 a.m.
Deck expressed the same positive attitude toward the late-night labor. “We always have plenty of help from student volunteers, so the process moves much more quickly during load-out than it does for load-in,” she said. “We have a fantastic group, and it makes for great committee bonding time. “